A guide to better video marketing

Today’s consumers want to get to know the brands they like and use. How should marketers relish that opportunity? A new report points to video. Here’s how to get started—or improve.

In marketing, effective storytelling is essential to reaching audiences.

What makes certain stories more effective than others? It has to do with drawing a special “something” out of the reader, listener or viewer.

The goal for many of today’s marketers is to inspire their audiences and elicit an emotional response to their content. What’s the best medium to do that? Many marketers would suggest video.

According to data from VidYard’s Video Marketing Handbook, more and more brand managers are presenting powerful themes through visuals. A recent report even calls video “the storytelling format to rule them all.”

Thinking of adding a video component to your next marketing campaign? Have a story to tell, but you’re not sure whether a visual element is the best way to tell it?

If you seek to share your organization’s values and message with your audience through a brand-focused video, here’s how—along with highlights from the report:

Make people feel something

Engagement often starts with a desire to “strike a chord with your audience” or “better understand your customer.”

Tapping into your audience’s mind, body, soul (or wallet) begins with a feeling. To break down your target audience’s emotional wall, you must elicit inspiration, humor, happiness, sadness, anxiety or fear.

From VidYard:

It doesn’t really matter if your audience is laughing, crying or feeling inspired at the end of your video, but they better be feeling something or you’ll be easily forgotten. Your goal is to convey an implied voice or brand persona and have people resonate with it. Whether it’s your on-screen talent’s wit, the language you use to speak about your brand’s beliefs, or even the topics you choose to cover, you’re trying to create content that triggers targeted emotions and trying to tie these high-power feelings to a specific action you want your audience to complete.

The way your brand delivers its message—and when—requires the ability to persuade.

If you seek to sway consumers and direct them toward your brand, VidYard suggests adopting an all-hands-on-deck approach.

The report says, in part:

There’s no doubt that video can now be used for much more than brand awareness. Video is no longer a marketing-based silo and can actually involve every business unit from your creative team, to your demand generation experts and your sales reps.

Here’s more:

Video stories can be sourced from all parts of the business. From R&D to your interns, there are tons of stories to be told, it’s just a matter of finding them. To encourage employee advocates to contribute stories, the culture must clearly support risk-taking and failure.

How can you unify departments and get everyone working toward the same goal?

Hone the emotional aspect of your campaign; then refine your strategy.

Here’s more fom VidYard:

One glance at the types of videos brands are releasing these days is enough to see that there’s a huge trend toward content that makes people feel. Times are changing and gone are the days when creating an especially impressive video was the only piece of the puzzle. Today you need to refine your video strategy and start monitoring your performance as it relates to ROI. Marketing technology has evolved to fit the bill and you can now track exactly who’s watching your video content, and for how long.

Find out what drives consumers

Depending on your brand’s product or service-and its price-VidYard data suggest digging deeper into your customers’ decision-making processes.

Jacqueline Jensen, a community evangelist at Piktochart, says customers’ overwhelming response to certain videos is simple science.

From Jensen:

If you aim to share a story that appeals to your audience, is easy for them to comprehend, and will be something they remember, we are finding that the science points to using visuals, including images and videos. Visuals and videos are recalled much more promptly than text or other sensory inputs—65 percent for visual content, versus 10 percent for pure text.

Most consumers don’t want to sit through a boring informational video, let alone associate that video with a brand they trust. To migrate away from yawn-inducing content, YidYard advises being realistic about your expectations:

There are only a few things you can actually achieve with each 90-second video spot. Consult with your team on the one essential point of the video (the main objective that aligns with the goals of the business). Remind them that you’re not looking to include all of the messaging points in your video, rather you’re aiming to create a provocative, entertaining spot that gets people talking about—and remembering—the issue that your company can help them solve.

Target your niche

If approaching your entire target audience with one video seems like an impossible task, take things one niche at a time.

From Jensen:

Great content isn’t always found in the same bucket as advertising-focused content. For example, with [a recent] Blab series, we talked to a PR professional, a well-known sketch-note artist, and the CEO of Blab. With each expert interview, we were able to target those in our community who are interested in those specific topics.

VidYard calls that “narrowcasting.” To do it properly, the report advises getting the quest for viral videos completely out of our heads:

“Going viral” is a naive approach to video marketing because, in reality, you can only secure millions of views if you have an audience with millions of people in it to begin with.

Instead, the report says to start here:

If you narrowcast a targeted message that capitalizes on the pain points of your ideal prospect, your video will retain viewers who are actually interested in what you do and likely have the budget to spend on your offering. In other words, you’ll attract and maintain the leads worth following up with.

Getting your video out there

Although marketers may thrive when conceptualizing a strong storyline and marketing strategy for their video content, that confidence can quickly turn to fear once production is underway.

From VidYard:

As companies get started with video there are always questions about budget, outsourcing, expectations around production value, and how to create great assets without breaking the bank.

Start here:

  • Determine whether your video will be produced in-house, or if you will outsource production. If your budget falls under $10,000, outsourcing might be more feasible. If the sky is the limit moneywise, perhaps it’s time to hire a full-time videographer. VidYard advises choosing someone with directing experience and a great sense of timing when it comes to editing.
  • Outline your expected output. Data say more than one-third of large organizations produce roughly 100 marketing videos annually. If you plan to use video marketing for the long haul, VidYard says to increase staff. Though many marketers might think in-house creative video teams are only an option for large outfits, any organization can hire or assemble a dedicated video team.

This VidYard graph shows how various organizations are approaching video:

Make sure it shares

Social media and video are becoming a marketer’s peanut butter and jelly.

If your target audience is on Facebook, post your videos there. If you want to expand your reputation with a variety of social media users, use your content to interact with them directly.

From Jensen:

[We started a] “User Stories” series using video because we’ve found a beautiful video is a powerful way to share a user’s story. For us, it’s about going behind the scenes and showcasing to our 5.5 million users worldwide how [our brand] has impacted one life.

We have found video to be one of the most transparent and powerful ways to take our community behind the scenes of the company and what we value. We are open to trying different platforms to see which experience resonates most with our community of users. As we explore, utilizing video, community interest and engagement guide us.

Here’s how VidYard’s report advises sharing your content and maximizing your video’s reach online:

  • Post your video on multiple pages on your brand’s website (blog, a resource hub, product page, etc.).
  • Use marketing campaign landing pages.
  • Insert or link to your visual content in outbound email marketing campaigns.
  • Establish a presence on social media channels. (Pay close attention to the sites your prospects use.)
  • Start a YouTube channel.
  • Create your own, dedicated video resource hub.

How do you use video in your marketing strategies, Ragan readers? What additional advice would you offer?Save


Ragan.com Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive the latest articles from Ragan.com directly in your inbox.